Here are some kilns that we really like as they do A LOT for the money... It's definitely hard to choose which one is best. It really just depends on what smaller projects you like to do and how much flexibility you need.
We love this kiln because of its front-loading capability as it makes for easy access and loading. The other really nice thing is that this kiln pulls fewer watts than most other kilns, while still making the temps we need. If you have power challenges in your studio, this kiln plugs into any household 120V receptacle, so you'll have an easy time getting the "juice" you need. The Copper is also built entirely of firebrick to offer the metal clay artist the opportunity to explore materials in the higher temperature ranges. Many clays require temperatures up to 2200F and the Copper has the capability to get you there. The Copper also finds use in china and porcelain painting, ceramics, and glass making it a true multi-use kiln!
Not to be left out... we also love the Evenheat V8. The V8 multi-purpose kiln is sized perfectly for home studios, teachers, instructors, and test kiln use. It's capable of all firing types and techniques including glass, vitrigraph, ceramic, metal clays and more. Its stackable design makes placement easy, especially with vitrigraph work. The V8 easily transforms into the ultimate Vitrigraph kiln with its Vitrigraph base accessory. Vitrigraph use highlights include a corner mounted thermocouple which offers more usable floor space and allows for larger pots up to 7.25".
This kiln is a rocket because it heats very quickly! The reason this kiln is special is that it's super-powered, going really fast up to temp and having the ability to hold that temp for long periods. That is especially important when pulling vitrigraph stringer. This nifty little kiln is truly multipurpose! We use it to fuse, anneal beads, fire Metal Clay, and as a vitrograph. You can even fire small ceramics. The top and bottom are removable for the ultimate in versatility. This little wonder does it all! It is important to note, that when the bead collar or blank collar are added, the maximum temperature on the HB86E reduces to 2000°F.
The Olympic HB89E is another great option. Same flexibility as the HB86E and fires to 2,350°F on just 120 volts but, with more space and a hinged lid. Plus, the attached stand allow this kiln to be used on any surface, including countertops.
This kiln is a solid workhorse that has a great reputation. It is one of vitrigraph kiln because it fires fast and stays there! Also, with a separate top and bottom, the Caldera is stackable and completely portable. The kiln is easy to carry to seminars or take on vacation. Paragon's best sellers because it literally can do anything! The Caldera fires rapidly to 2350°F so, it's used in a lot of studios as a dedicated. The basic Caldera is part of a unique kiln expansion system. You can order extra collars for bead annealing, enameling, or just depth! For a digital kiln that can do this much, the Caldera is surprisingly affordable.
The AF3P Fuse Cube 9/9 is perfectly powered for its size. This kiln is bigger than other small kilns. The inner dimensions are 9" square letting you stack shelves for metal clay, or put in a really big vitrigraph pot without having to purchase an extra collar! That makes this kiln a bargain. Depending on which model you order, you can do everything I listed above. You can even order additional bottoms to make this a vitrigraph. The height is a real advantage for this kiln! It is also nice and deep allowing you to fire a metal clay carbon vessel inside. In addition, you can slump and drape small items, make tons of glass jewelry and fire ceramics up to 8" tall! Fuse Cube 9/9 Flex: Add the "take-a-part" feature and this kiln comes apart to allow you to utilize your maximum creativity!